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June 26, 2009

Rockland Throwdown: Lynn Archer vs. Bobby Flay

Amidst circulating rumors of a Food Network cooking event in Rockland’s Buoy Park, a tip-off from a reliable source prompted us to investigate. We were completely unprepared for the event which would unfold!

Lynn Archer, chef and proprietor of Rockland’s Brass Compass Cafe arrived a little before noon, clad in leather, on her motorcycle. Friends and family who had been issued invitations to this private event gathered around a tent, where there was a definite air of anticipation. Clearly, something would soon be cooking!LynnBobby-4566

A party atmosphere filled the small gathering. Lynn began with a message of grateful thanks for being blessed by all the good things about small town America, including the tremendous support of a close-knit community.

She then began a cooking demonstration: making bread, shucking lobster, and with great humor and rapport with her audience, began making her signature Lobster Club BLT. As she finished getting her ingredients prepared, who walks into the tent but Bobby Flay, who challenged Lynn to a Lobster Club Throwdown! Totally unfazed, Lynn said she was comfortable on her turf, and had “nothing to worry about.”

Flay, who needed an entourage to complete his fancied-up version of a lobster club, which included such exotic ingredients as saffron, parsley, tarragon, green onions, celery, and serrano ham, was not the crowd favorite when it came to the taste test. In fact, prior to the audience samplings from both chefs, Lynn and Bobby tried each others’ sandwiches. Lynn made a face after trying Bobby’s, declaring the onion and celery “overpowering” and “the kiss of death.” Flay said Lynn’s “tasted like lobster–delicious!”

Judges Sam Hayward and Anne Mahle had their mouths full as they critiqued the two lobster offerings.

While this was a big, hushed up event where press was turned away, it was a huge honor for Lynn and Midcoast Maine. Her natural and witty interaction with the crowd, and her competitor, prompted suggestions Lynn should have a cooking show of her own. Bobby Flay may have been in Rockland, but Lynn Archer stole the show.


(While we’ve been sworn to secrecy as to the results of this Throwdown, get down to The Brass Compass and have the “Queen of Clubs” whip you up one of her “King of Clubs.” And tune in to the Food Network’s August airing of this Maine event.)

From the staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.


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